Common Breast Problems

common breast problems

Breast lump: If doctor find a breast lump by feeling or looking at breast and it is difficult to determine by examination whether the lump is caused by the breast cancer, it should be evaluated by the doctor that whether it needs any further testing. It is seen that more or less 90% breast lumps in women in the age group of 20 to 50 are not cancerous.

Breast pain: The breast pain is often caused by the hormones which are responsible to control the menstrual period. These hormonal changes may cause pain in both the breasts before the beginning of menstrual period. This can be known as cyclical breast pain since the pain can come and go with the menstrual cycle.It is not usually caused by breast cancer or other serious breast problems. Rarely, a woman can have breast pain that does not come and go with the menstrual cycle which can be called noncyclical breast pain. This type of pain does not have any relation with the menstrual cycle and might occur in only one breast or any one area of the breast. Noncyclical breast pain is usually caused by a problem outside the breast, such as muscle or connective tissue strain, skin injury, spinal conditions, or problems in another organ system for ex. heart burn, chest pain. Noncyclical breast pain is caused by breast cancer in a very less population of women.

Nipple discharge: Milky-coloured discharge which is also known asgalactorrhea from both the nipples is very common, especially during the first year after giving birth to a child. Nipple discharge from both breasts can also occur in women with hypothyroid, as a side effect of certain medications, or because of a growth in the pituitary (a part of the brain), which can increase a hormone called prolactin.

Nipple inversion: Many women have by birth the nipples that are naturally invert/pull in at times and evert (poke out) at other times. Some finds this after breast feeding. This type of Nipple inversion is not an issue for concern. If the nipples have always been everted and begin to invert suddenly this should be evaluated by the doctor. Normally the nipple inversion are not serious issue but sometimes this is the first sign of a breast cancer.

Skin changes: Skin problems can occur on or near the breast, which may cause itching, scaling or crusting, dimpling, swelling, redness, or changes in skin colour. If the same is not resolved in few days the same needs to be evaluated.

Abnormal mammogram: Many women have no physical complaints or findings but an abnormality is diagnosed on screening mammogram. The radiologist indicates whether the abnormality requires follow-up, additional imaging or biopsy. An ultrasound is performed to see if the abnormality is cystic or solid, if the abnormality is a mass.

In age 20s: If any lump is detected before your menstrual period, it may be advised to have a repeat breast examination after your period has ended. In this age group, breast lumps are often caused by hormonal changes and will resolve after your menstrual cycle.

In age 30s: Nipple discharge and infections are more prevalent in this age group. Self breast examination need to be done every 3 months to check any abnormality in the breast. Diagnostic mammography should be done along with ultrasound breast, if any lump is palpable. Needle biopsy might be required to rule out cancer.

In age 40s: The above mentioned abnormalities could occur and treatment depends upon the condition. Women who seems to be at high risk of breast cancer sometimes need to begin screening at a young age. This might include women who: Carry genes that augment their risk of breast cancer, such as the “BRCA” genes · Have close relatives who had breast cancer at a young age Screening mammography could be done to detect any abnormality and repeated every year till the age of 50.

In age 50s onwards: All above mentioned abnormalities could occur and treatment depends upon the condition. Screening mammography need to be done every one – two year depending upon the risk of patient to detect any abnormality.

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